Exclusive Interview: Author, Mark Allen (Blood Red Moon)
What can readers expect from your new book, BLOOD RED MOON?
They can expect a character-driven, engrossing story that brings werewolves into the 21st century with compelling characters. They can expect lots of mood, atmosphere, suspense, intrigue, punctuated with what I call “medically-accurate violence”.
and attempts to make werewolves relevant and believable for today’s sophisticated readers. I also give a wink and a nod to “traditional werewolf lore”, and then turn quite a bit of on its ear.
How old were you when you got interested in writing stories?
I was ten. I wrote a short story over the weekend in 4th grade for an English assignment. I wrote a totally derivative story about Godzilla attacking Tokyo. I got an A+ on the assignment, my first ever. I’ve been writing ever since.
What drives your creativity?
I am compelled by all the characters running around in my head pleading with me (sometimes screaming at me) to tell their stories. I can’t NOT write.
Do you have a favorite book or author that inspires you?
My favorite novel is FRANKENSTEIN. The story really speaks to me as an allegory, not of man and God, but of parents and their children. Specifically, I see it as a story about fathers and sons. And it affects me.
Do you flesh out your characters before you start writing the story?
Yes. Always. For me I can’t write the story until I know who my characters are. Once I feel them, they will tell me the story. All I have to do is try to keep up.
Do you know your ending when you begin writing? I usually have an idea of where I want to go, but it’s never etched in stone. AS the story unfolds, sometimes a different ending presents itself as something more organic and true to the story.
What does your writing process look like?
When I’m working, I write every day and try to write from about 10am – 2pm, something like that. And when I work, I listen to music to help me tap into whatever mood I need to convey in the scene or sequence I’m writing that day. I listen to a lot of classic rock from the 60s and 70s – music I grew up with. You’ve heard of “method” actors? Well, I’m a “method writer”. I have to feel what my characters feel in order to get it written correctly and honestly. So writing is an emotionally draining experience for me, and 4 to maybe 6 hours is all the gas I have in the tank for one day’s writing.
How long does it typically take you to complete a book?
About 18-24 months. I’m trying to up my pace, but we’ll see.
What sets your stories apart from everything else that is out there?
I take classic “monsters” and make them three-dimensional characters rather than just cardboard “boogeymen”. They become either deeply flawed heroes or sort of antiheroes instead of villains. I also try to set my stories in the “real world” and try to inject as much humdrum daily life into the story. That way, when I introduce the horror elements and all that goes along with them, it hits the reader square in the face like a brick. At least, that’s what I hope it does.
What’s next for Mark Allen?
I am currently working on a sequel to my debut novel, NOCTURNAL. I’m also doing research on feature film screenplay i want to write. Speaking of screenplays, my film/TV agent in L.A. is shopping a couple of my feature film screenplays around, looking for financing. In the meantime, i just keep writing. Every. Single. Day.